This long-form generative series was inspired by my love for pen and ink drawings, gothic tattoo art, and of course the writings of H.P Lovecraft.
Highly detailed, recognizable elements such as teeth, horns or tentacles are combined into abstract shapes that invite the viewers to find their own meaning to the compositions.
This project is my way to express, and maybe exorcize, these darkest thoughts that creep upon us in the middle of the night – an attempt to create beauty out of the ugly.
The artistic process for this collection was unusual: I started with traditional ink sketches on paper and wrote code to reproduce the way I would construct the lines and shade the volumes. In the sketches, I experimented with various hatching and stippling methods, and ended up using mostly dots for creating the illusion of volume. In fact, each piece in this collection is made of millions of tiny dots!
It is also during this stage that I came up with a new method to generate curves. A lot of artists use Bezier curves, but I always found these awkward and unintuitive. Instead, I designed a curves system where I could pick a start and end point and have the algorithm generate nicely flowing, organic curves between them.
The next step was to take the outputs of the algorithm and run AI enhancement on these to get more textural ideas. I then incorporated some of the ideas back into the ink sketches, and into the code.
I iterated on that loop for several months, and the code slowly converged to its final version.
The color schemes were added relatively late in the process and are also generated algorithmically. In addition to the 32 hand-picked color palettes, the “Dice Roll” colors are fully generative, leaving it to chance to come up with a beautiful (or ugly!) combination of colors.
The addition of color took the project in a slightly different direction, losing the dark, macabre tone and sometimes generating playful, yet still disturbing, outputs. To acknowledge the dark origin of the work, the colorful outputs have more rarity.
I will sign and donate 5 of the original physical pen and ink sketches to random collectors.